Retiring Leipsic teacher’s aide Irma Rodriguez (back seat, left) and retiring teacher Judy Newell were surprised on their last day of school when their former Elementary Principal, Fred Bryan, showed up to escort them around town. Also pictured is Elementary Principal Darren Henry. The teachers also supplied their departing colleagues with crowns. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
Retiring Leipsic teacher’s aide Irma Rodriguez (back seat, left) and retiring teacher Judy Newell were surprised on their last day of school when their former Elementary Principal, Fred Bryan, showed up to escort them around town. Also pictured is Elementary Principal Darren Henry. The teachers also supplied their departing colleagues with crowns. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)

LEIPSIC — The Leipsic Elementary teachers gave an “un-frog-getable” send off to two of their retiring colleagues on Wednesday, May 28.

Irma Rodriguez, an elementary teacher’s aide, and Judy Newell, a fourth grade teacher, were “toad-ally” surprised on the students’ last day of school when their former principal, Fred Bryan, arrived at the school just as the last of the students were leaving. Not only was Bryan driving a convertible, he was decked out in a frog costume. Newell taught 30 years at Leipsic; 20 in a special education classroom and the last 10 in fourth grade.

“The first year I taught fourth grade, I used a frog theme in my classroom,” Newell explained. The concept caught on, and Newell’s students began gifting her with frogs of all kinds.

“I had a collection of frogs you wouldn’t believe,” she described, estimating that she had 50 frogs.

She held drawings during the last days of school in which students were able to take home one of the frogs.

“I was known as ‘The Frog Teacher,’” she laughed.

Rodriguez spent 35 years at Leipsic. “I will miss the kids. I really enjoyed working with them,” she declared. “And the staff was great.”

Newell echoed the sentiment.

“The kids. I’ll miss the kids. And of course, my friends,” she commented.

The women climbed into the back of the convertible as their fellow educators presented them with crowns. Current Leipsic Elementary Principal Darren Henry “hopped” into the passenger’s seat. The quartet then drove around the Village, to celebrate Newell’s and Rodriguez’s “leap” into a new chapter of their lives.